Robinhood has brought its popular commission-free crypto trading app to New York investors.
The California-based startup announced Thursday that it is launching bitcoin, ethereum, and other cryptocurrency trading services in New York. The announcement appeared precisely four months after Robinhood received a BitLicense from the New York State Department of Financial Services.
Excerpts from the press release:
“Currently, you can invest in seven cryptocurrencies on Robinhood Crypto: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin SV, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, and Dogecoin. You can also track price movements and news for those and 10 additional cryptocurrencies.”
The BitLicense Circle
Crypto purveyors, in general, have avoided working in New York due to the state’s stringent crypto regulations. To many, BitLicense is a classic case of regulation-before-innovation, a law that unnecessarily burdens young startups with expensive procedures – a $5,000 fee to NYDFS with no guarantee of approval, as well as $45,000 worth of legal paperwork, as revealed by Coinsettler Jaron Lukasiewicz, one of the BitLicense applicants, in 2015.
Such cost burdens have prompted many New York startups to shift base to a friendlier crypto state such as California – or even countries like Switzerland and Japan. At the same time, startups that have built a solid financial foundation for themselves are looking more comfortable while entering New York.
Robinhood is the 10th company in the past four years that have received a BitLicense. According to Josh Elman, the vice president of product, their move into Wall Street is “a crucial next step.” He told Cheddar:
“We’ve introduced millions of people to equity investing on Robinhood, and want to do the same for everyone interested in crypto.”
The FinTech startup now possesses 6 million users across the whole platform and expects to add a few million more to their growing base. By this time last year, it had only 4 million users spread across 16 states.
Robinhood’s net worth at the time of this writing has touched $5.6 billion after its latest funding round that closed in March 2018. Meanwhile, the startup has raised a total of $539 million capital so far. It further revealed its plans to go public in the near future.
Date: May 27, 2019